Poor old Gent. They were playing a blinder for 30 minutes on Thursday night having weathered the early West ham storm to take the lead in the game and overall tie. Everything was going to plan for an unlikely victory.
Then the Lion awoke. And it was angry! Suddenly Moyes' men threw caution to the wind and ....ahem....started playing footy! Facing a humiliating defeat they ditched all the disciplined tactics and decided - we are man for man much better than you lot so lets do this.
And they were.
Gent were over-run by a tidal wave of fast and skillful football. There could only be one outcome. Led by Captain Rice, Paqueta, Bowen, Antonio et al were out of control and clearly off the leash.
In truth, Gent were lucky to get out at 4-1. They had no answer to the quality of the Hammers. All of which raises the question: if we had avoided slipping into the relegation mire, would this squad have delivered earlier?
And so to today - Bournemouth. Hmmm. On paper a pretty average side but through discipkine and effort they have managed to get above the mess at the bottom. Again, on paper the Hammers can beat them today but we need to play football not a war of tactics.
Whoever wins today will be considerably liberated from relegation worries. It's a decent prize. In our case, we have other fish to fry. Alkmaar will be stern opponents, but man for man we should prevail but we need to make it about football. They are a young side so we would hope to trick them into going toe to toe.
Finally, what has been the problem this season? Moyes tactics, first season syndrome for our recent recruits, the circumstances of being in the bottom half or just the stuttering nature of a season split by the World cup and fragmented by the endless flow of mostly pointless International breaks?